3. Property values
Definition 1. Assessed value, for taxation purposes
Definition 2. Value at which a property can be sold.
In many households, living in proximity to wind turbines has become so distressing, owing to newly developed health problems, including chronic anxiety, elevated blood pressure, migraines, and other symptoms mentioned in article one (above), for at least one family member, that the family has no recourse but to move away. This is true. This is reflected in countless stories from all over the U.S. and Canada and around the world.
What happens when they attempt to sell their property, their dream home in retirement, their cherished farm which has been in the family for several generations? Their home which is now right next to, or surrounded by 400-to-500 foot tall industrial wind towers topped by huge turbines with 150 spinning blades, spinning, spinning 24 hours a day (unless the wind isn't blowing)?
No one will buy it. Period. No one wants to live next to that. This is what former residents of Altona, NY, which was overrun with wind towers, found out. Many, probably most, of the households that had to find somewhere else to live couldn't afford to move. These are not affluent retirees, or investment bankers. They are north country residents who have local employment.
One of them was employed by Noble Wind, who constructed the wind farm. She lived right in the middle of the Altona wind facility. She had no idea what she was contributing to when she began working for Noble. But when the towers were up and operational, she found living there to be so distressing that she complained, with increasing urgency many times, to the corporation. Their only response was that she would get used to the minor annoyances, that the flicker of light and shadow in her home was not really an issue, that testing had shown that the decibel level of noise from the turbine blades was within the allowable limit. Her only recourse was to move away. She was unable to sell her house.
This brings us back to definition 1. Assessed value, for taxation. Until someone buys the property, the titled owner must continue paying the taxes. They may go down. Some. Maybe 20%. Apparently, after the money starts coming in from the wind company, PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) and other local incentives, these property taxes still don't go down.
So, in the real world, of real people and real domestic accounting, property values do indeed decline. To zero. Properties in and around Industrial Wind facilities become worthless. They effectively become the property of the wind corporations. In the case of Parishville and Hopkinton, they become the property of Atlantic Wind Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, a huge foreign national corporation based in Spain. Is this not so? If the owners have to move out, and cannot sell, and the turbines remain, in effect the property has a new owner. This is not a matter of exchange of a deed. This is a practical matter. Also a very painful one.
Actually Atlantic Wind begins to own the property when the leasing agreement is signed, because when it comes time to erect the towers, the lease gives Atlantic the freedom to put the towers, the service roads and transmission lines wherever they want on the property, within the legal constraints of the required setbacks from residences and property lines.
Incidentally, not only do the residents, whether they stay on the property or move out, find that no one will buy their home, land, farm. Realtors also report that they have a hard time selling these properties. One look at the situation, and the prospective buyers say "Oh, well, we are still looking around. We'll get back to you." In other words, these, the professionals who know how to sell a home, are not able to sell these properties.
This is something to look into before signing a lease, not after.